Thursday, December 10, 2009

Want Some Cheese with that Holiday Romance?

So, as I'm sitting here fiddling with a new idea for what will mostly likely develop into a holiday romance novel, I'm realizing how cheesy it all seems. I personally adore a good torrid holiday love affair complete with mistletoe, roasted chestnuts, and maybe a set of handcuffs under the tree. But I can also respect those readers who take one look at a half naked hottie in a Santa hat and roll their eyes with a resounding Puh-lease!

What then, is the difference between humorous and cheesy or dramatic and laughable when it comes to writing a holiday romance? 

I'm beginning to think it all has its roots in cliche. We don't want a story that reads like an X-rated version of 'A Christmas Carol' or 'The Polar Express'. We don't want to watch every Christmas stereotype prance across the page before declaring its undying love and then just stopping. Because really, what happens to these people after the holidays are over? Is there anything left? 

Instead I think you have to focus on the real feelings and emotions that seem to be attached to this iconic holiday season. Everyone has something along the lines of 'Christmas Baggage'. We're all carrying around expectations, anxiety, and family issues that somehow manage to monopolize our thoughts and feelings beginning shortly after Halloween. And THAT is where the story must come from. Not to say that all Holiday themed novels should focus on the typical family holiday squabble. But even a comedic storyline can have its roots in things like lost childhood, unfulfilled dreams, and anger resulting from Santa disillusionment.

Well holiday shoppers, its back to the creative think tank for me. Merry Christmas to all-And to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Chick shot down the 'Enterprise'

So you think there is no way in hell a woman can produce decent Sci-Fi. In fact, you're certain that women writers in general are sending the genre to hell. 


Step into the modern world, my friend. Women in our world have come a long way since June Cleaver. We are tech savvy and wildly creative. And we enjoy a good game of "One Up My Gadget". 

In fact, some of our best 'gadgets' are kept in a bedside drawer and are more space age than poor June Cleaver could have ever imagined!

In the past, the misconception that women neither understood or cared about Science Fiction was due in part to the lack of accessible material in the genre. I know there are hard core Sci-Fi lovers out there (sorry Dad!) who are incensed at the idea of inserting some kind of romantic element into their futuristic world. But did we really think that futuristic societies went prude? And why must you have a PhD in Astrophysics to enjoy a good romp on another planet?

The thriving subculture of fanfiction is proof on any level that there are many rabid female Sci-Fi fans out there. One only has to type the word fanfiction and something like "Stargate", "Farscape", or "Pitch Black" into a web browser in order to have a bottomless supply of material to read. And that doesn't even delve into the titles available in bookstores and libraries. 
Of course, some women are still a bit iffy when they contemplate the purchase of a book sporting a description that includes life on a starship cruiser, most will take the plunge if the plot promises to be interesting. If the book is good, they might even decide the Sci-Fi genre is more to their taste than they initially thought. So, given that, I think it can be said that the romantic element in a Sci-Fi story might bring people into the genre that wouldn't have discovered it otherwise. 

Now to this nonsense that women can't write good Science Fiction...

It does not require a penis to understand the solar system, futuristic gadgetry, black holes, or to like Star Trek. It takes imagination. And, as my editor is always telling me, consistency. So if you still think women have no business writing Science Fiction, or if you harbor a dislike for the genre because you mistakenly think that Sci-Fi characters are robotic--read my latest New Release, Daggertail, and let me see if I can change your mind.